If the thought of undergoing oral surgery makes you anxious, you may look for reasons to delay or avoid it. Oral surgeons often recommend having wisdom teeth extracted during the teens or early 20s before they develop long, hard roots and have the chance to cause complications. This third set of molars does not always need to be removed immediately, but there can be consequences to putting off surgery.
Pain and discomfort.
A major challenge with wisdom teeth is that they seldom grow in perfectly straight or have enough room at the back of the jaw. When teeth are angled, horizontal, or become trapped under the gum, it can be painful. Wisdom teeth may only partially erupt through the gum, making them more difficult to clean and a perfect place for bacteria and tartar to collect and lead to gum disease or tooth decay.
Impacted wisdom teeth are at greater risk of developing an infection or a cyst below the gums or around the tooth root. This can cause damage to not only the tooth, but the tissue, gums, and adjacent teeth as well.
Damage to adjacent teeth.
As the wisdom teeth try to push their way through, they may become trapped below existing molars or angled toward these teeth. This can lead to damage to adjacent teeth as pressure is exerted. It can also make it difficult to properly clean around and between teeth increasing the risk of decay.
Crowding of teeth.
If you had orthodontics growing up, you likely want to protect your beautiful, straight smile. When there is not enough room for wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth, they can push other teeth out of alignment and cause crowding or crooked teeth. This can not only be uncomfortable, but make you feel self-conscious about your smile.
There is a very thin layer of bone that separates your upper teeth from your sinus cavity. If wisdom teeth grow in improperly or become infected, they can cause sinus pain or pressure.
Benefits of Removing Wisdom Teeth
Having your wisdom teeth extracted can help prevent these problems by removing a common cause. Due to the location of wisdom teeth, they can be hard to reach with a toothbrush or floss and keep clean. Taking them out can improve oral hygiene and make it easier to care for your teeth.
It can also be beneficial if you are looking at having orthodontic treatment such as braces or aligners by giving teeth more space to grow and shift into the proper position without being overcrowded.
Recovery is often faster and easier the younger you are when wisdom teeth are removed. By extracting your teeth before they have had a chance to firmly anchor into place, you will likely have less pain and fewer complications. Although you can undergo the procedure at any age after wisdom teeth have developed, the older you are, the more complex surgery may be and the longer it can take to bounce back.
Enjoy a Healthier Smile with Wisdom Teeth Removal
The benefits of wisdom teeth extraction often outweigh the risks. If you are unsure about whether you need these molars removed, or are anxious about what to expect, contact Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery to schedule a consultation. Learn more about the process and recovery as you decide what is in the best interest of your current and future oral health.